By Melissa Hincha-Ownby on March 16, 2011

Does your municipality accept lids and caps for curbside recycling? The ability to process these materials is increasing after years of wasting.
The Woes of Lid Recycling
Did you know that you might not be able to recycle plastic lids curbside? It’s true: In many places you need to remove the lids from plastic bottles, milk jugs and glass bottles prior to recycling.

The good news is that recyclers are beginning to accept lids and bottle caps for recycling, even curbside, with increasing frequency. So, if curbside lid recycling isn’t available in your area yet, don’t despair, as it may only be a matter of time before you can keep the lid on your milk jug and just toss it in the recycling container.

Now that you know lids can’t always be recycled, you may be wondering why. There are several factors at play, including the fact that the material lids are made out of can’t always be recycled with its container.

If a plastic lid accidentally gets recycled, it could actually contaminate a batch of recycled plastic, rendering it useless. Another factor to consider is that small lids can clog some equipment, creating a headache for employees and sometimes shutting down the recycling process until the jam is cleared.

So, what are you supposed to do with all of your plastic lids? Simple: Save them until your next trip to your local Whole Foods store and drop them off there. Aveda salons also accept many types of lids and caps. If you don’t have a Whole Foods or Aveda location in your area, search the recycling location finder for a drop-off location that accepts plastic #5, the material that most plastic lids are made of.

A quick search of my neighborhood revealed several locations that accept plastic lids on a drop-off basis, including city libraries, city-owned recycling centers, a recreation center and even an elementary school.

I’m lucky, though, as my curbside recycling program accepts plastic caps as part of its single-stream recycling center. However, Chandler, AZ, where I will be moving to in a few months, does not. So, I will have to collect my caps in a separate container and drop them off for processing — a minor inconvenience until Chandler’s system can accept plastic lids.

About the author

Melissa Hincha-Ownby is a freelance writer based in Arizona. She writes about a variety of environmental topics, including green business, green building, eco-friendly vehicles, the importance of a green economy and raising two eco-conscious children.

 

In addition to writing about the environment, Melissa's other writing passion is special needs parenting. As the mother of two children with special health care needs, she knows the importance of providing support and information to other families on a similar parenting journey.


Learn more about Melissa Hincha-Ownby

Comments

There are no comments for this post yet


Articles by Melissa Hincha-Ownby

Metal Water Bottles: The Good and the Bad

By Melissa Hincha-Ownby on June 28, 2011

Finding a safe, durable, recyclable reusable water bottle is the first step in conserving more resources this summer.

Old Refrigerators Transformed into Art

By Melissa Hincha-Ownby on June 23, 2011

Utility companies are taking to eye-catching public art to promote their appliance recycling programs.

Arizona City Commits to Green Building

By Melissa Hincha-Ownby on June 15, 2011

The suburban setting of Chandler may seem like an unlikely place for eco-innovation, but this city is miles ahead of its neighbors when it comes to conservation.

Recycling Articles

How to Recycle Swimming Pool Chemicals

By Sophia Bennett on October 29, 2014

Toxic and combustive pool chemicals need to be handled and disposed of with the utmost care.

How to Recycle Jars

By Sophia Bennett on October 22, 2014

Glass can be recycled over and over again, and virtually every city and town has access to recycling options.

Blog Action Day: Striving for Recycling Education Equality in California

By April Stearns on October 16, 2014

California suffers from recycling education inequality. Change across the state could help shape a new generation of recycling champions.

Current News

Recycling Profile: Dover, DE

By 1-800-RECYCLING on October 31, 2014

The Capital of the First State takes advantage of Delaware's universal recycling guidelines.

1800Recycling.com Profiles Recycling Efforts in Austin, St. Petersburg, Knoxville, Champaign, Cambridge, and Other North American Cities

By 1-800-RECYCLING on October 30, 2014

“Recycling laws, policies and practices can vary substantially from city to city”

Recycling Profile: Thunder Bay, ON, Canada

By 1-800-RECYCLING on October 24, 2014

One of Canada's most strikingly beautiful cities has a robust sustainability plan in place over the next five-plus years.

Loading